“The Awami League (AL) under the leadership of the Father of the Nation has brought the country’s independence. As we are in power, we have to take the responsibility to (find ways) for the next generation on how the country will run and advance towards development not only in present days but also in the future. So, we will have to take preparation for that from now,” she said, BSS report.
The premier said this while giving introductory speech in a meeting of the party’s presidium members at her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League President, simultaneously said what they (AL government) are now doing might be amended or changed for the demand of time.
She added: “We know the change will happen. Despite the fact, if a framework or a concept paper or a guideline has before (the next generation) then it will be easy to do any work for them whoever comes to power.”
To this context, the prime minister reminded all that “how much time else I can continue (running the state)” as she is now 74, adding that they will have to prepare the guideline relating to running the country as the next generation couldn’t lose their direction.
Referring to the increase in remittance inflow and forex reserve due to the government’s timely measures in the face of the apprehension of declining, the premier said, “At this point our economy is in by and large good position.”
She added: “None could think that our remittance will increase. It is increasing as we’re giving two percent incentive (for sending remittance) and our reserve now stands at USD 39.4 billion.”
Mentioning that said they have announced a huge budget of over Taka 5 lakh core, she said, “Announcing such a huge budget is not a small matter. We don’t know how much we can do (in case of implementing the budget) in the face of coronavirus, but my desire was to have preparations to this end. If things go well, we’ll be able to achieve it completely. If it’s not, then we’ll see…but we won’t step back. We placed our budget to keep our economy moving.”
She said they have fixed a 6 percent deficit in the budget although they had thought of making it 10 percent if required, but it was not required.
Speaking about losing jobs by expatriate Bangladeshis amid the pandemic, the premier said, “It is becoming a problem for us as many Bangladeshi lost their jobs. But we are returning them back by special flight as they are the citizens of our country.”
Sheikh Hasina referred to a forecast of prolonged floods in the country and said, “There was a forecast of a protracted flooding while some rivers are still overflowing. Riverbank erosions (due to the flood) have taken a turn for the worse. We’re taking steps in this regard, we’re trying hard.”
In this context, the premier said the Delta Plan-2100 has mainly been formulated to reduce the river erosion by ensuring navigability of the major rivers and other ones after conducting their dredging.
The Prime Minister spelled out various measures taken by her government since the very beginning of the crisis arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and said they have announced various stimulus packages, handing over cash and other assistances to keep moving the country’s economy and ease sufferings of the people particularly of the farmers, labourers, teachers and others.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League said, “As the Awami League is in power at this moment, it has thought for the welfare of the common people and helped them in that way. No other part will do this. They rather would think on how they can benefit from it. But we have been working sincerely for the welfare of the people.”
The premier went on saying that standing beside the people is the policy of the Awami League, adding, “Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman taught us it.”
While leaders and activists of the AL and its associate bodies have been tirelessly working to reach relief, arranging burials, cutting paddy of the farmers and other assistances to the helpless people amid the COVID-19 pandemic risking their lives, the other parties (particularly BNP) have been giving lip services instead of standing beside them.
She thanked the leaders and activists of the Awami League and its associate bodies such as Juba League, Chhatra League and Krishak League, and government officials and personnel of law-enforcement agencies for their all-out efforts to help people in this crisis period.
The premier said that the Awami League has an economic policy as a political party, adding, “We have been working keeping it in the mind. We take every measure in line with the party’s economic policy.”
In this regard, the premier referred to the formulation of first perspective plan from 2010-2020 and the second perspective plan 2021-2041, Delta Plan-2100 and announcement of a huge budget.
Noting that an abnormal situation has been created due to the coronavirus and normal livelihoods are being hampered across the globe, the premier said, “Despite the fact, we have been trying to keep running the wheels of the country’s economy.”
Apart from the coronavirus pandemic, she said that her government has to face natural calamities like flooding and cyclone Amphan.
She went on saying that they have opened mills and industries in phases as the country’s export had reached a standstill position at a point of time when the country’s industries remained closed and announced special stimulus packages for the small, medium and large industries to keep running their wheels.
The premier said stimulus packages have also been announced for the agriculture as part of the move to ensure food security as she apprehended that the world might have faced food crisis and famine due to the onslaught of ongoing COVID-19.
At the outset of the discussion, a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memories of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage, martyrs of the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks and the leaders and activists who died recently, particularly AL Presidium Members Mohammad Nasim and Advocate Sahara Khatun.